VATICAN CITY (CNS) — True Christians are defined by the joy they carry in their hearts and the assurance that God accompanies them even in the most difficult circumstances, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
A Christian cannot exist without joy and a person who identifies himself or herself as Christian yet lives a sad life “is missing something,” the pope said May 23 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“The identification card of a Christian is joy: the joy of the Gospel, the joy of having been elected by Jesus, saved by Jesus, regenerated by Jesus. (It is) the joy of the hope that Jesus is waiting for us, the joy that — even in the crosses and in the sufferings of this life — is expressed in a different way, which is having peace in the certainty that Jesus accompanies us; that he is with us,” he said.
The day’s Gospel reading from St. Mark (10:17-27) recalled Jesus’ encounter with a rich young man who asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.
“Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me,” Jesus says to him.
The rich young man, the pope noted, ultimately chose sadness because he was “unable to open his heart to joy.” Although wealth is not evil in itself, the attachment to wealth and possessions can lead one toward the path of sadness.
“When — in our parishes, in our communities, in our institutions — we find people who say they are Christian and want to be Christian but are sad, there is something wrong. And we must help them to find Jesus, to take away that sadness so that they can rejoice in the Gospel, so they have this joy that is from the Gospel,” the pope said.
A Christian can’t help but live out his or her joy with a sense of wonder and amazement at the revelation of God’s love and at being saved from the attachment to worldly possessions, he said.
“Today let us ask the Lord to give us this (sense of) wonder before him, before the great spiritual wealth he has given us. May he give us joy, the joy of our life and of living through difficulties with peace in our hearts with this sense of wonder; may he protect us from looking for happiness from many things that, in the end, sadden us,” Pope Francis said.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103